Business in Brief: IDB Responds Angrily to Proposed Sale of Clal Insurance Stock

Antitrust approves Weisman's acquisition of Sonol; Safe-T finally gets its Tel Aviv Stock Exchange listing; Insurers lead shares higher in thin trading.

Moti Kimche

IDB responds angrily to proposed sale of Clal Insurance stock

IDB Development Corporation responded angrily on Sunday after Moshe Tery, the trustee holding IDB’s controlling stake in Clal Insurance, said he had received offers to sell 5% blocks of shares in the insurer. IDB said the offers, which are reportedly for about 100 million shekels ($25.9 million) each, undervalue the company and said Tery had no authority to sell the stock. “Selling the shares will cause serious and irreversible harm,” IDB said, noting that it had received an offer to buy as much as 30% for 840 million shekels. Tery is acting under instructions from Dorit Salinger, the treasury head of capital markets, insurance and savings, who took away IDB’s insurance license and ordered it to sell its controlling 55% stake. After a failed attempt by IDB to sell the stake last year, Salinger said the shares should be sold in 5% tranches in the stock market. Clal shares ended up 2.4% at 2.35 shekels. (TheMarker Staff)

Antitrust approves Weismann’s acquisition of Sonol

A year after he was forced out of the flagging Alon Blue Square group,  David Weismann has won a new place in the Israeli energy and retailing sector. On Sunday the Antitrust Authority said it gave clearance for Weismann’s Israel Oil & Gas Fund to buy the filling station and retail chain Sonol for 364 million shekels ($94.1 million) from Azrieli Group. Weismann needed approval because he retains indirectly a 10% holding in the Alon group and a 3.5% stake in the filling station/retailer Dor Alon. The acquisition does not include Sonol’s land in the Pi Glilot area, which the Azrieli Group is expected to sell separately for 110 million shekels to the Trigo Investment Group. Weismann was responsible for the rise and fall of Alon Blue Square, whose retail empire centered on the now bankrupt Mega supermarket chain. Azrieli shares finished 0.1% higher at 159.20 shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

Safe-T finally gets its Tel Aviv Stock Exchange listing

After failing to complete a successful initial public offering, a cyber-security startup Safe-T found itself a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange listing at the end of last week by merging with a publicly traded shell company called Matarat Mizug Hevrot (Company Merger Target). Safe-T, which failed to raise the minimum 17 million shekels ($4.4 million) last November needed to complete an IPO, was valued at 95 million shekels in the merger based on forecasted revenues of $2 million this year, $5 million in 2017 and $12 million in 2018 and its generating its first operating profit in 2019. Safe-T’s paltry revenues of $715,000 last year were among the reasons for its failed IPO. The new forecasts, however, are much lower than the ones it offered in the IPO, which saw $9.5 million in revenues in 2016 and $23 million in 2017.  The merged company is now asking to be taken off the TASE’s maintenance list and begin ordinary trading. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Insurers lead shares higher in thin trading

Tel Aviv shares rose on Sunday in thin trading, led by insurance stocks. The TA-25 and TA-100 indices both rose 0.32% to 1,413.14 and 1,225.90 points, respectively, as just 448 million shekels ($115.8 million) in shares changed hands. Menorah led insurers higher on a 2.5% gain to 3.09 shekels, with Migdal out 2.4% to 2.35 and Phoenix adding 2.2% to 9.32. Africa Israel extended its rally from Thursday, closing 8.6% higher at 1.09 on news that controlling shareholder Lev Leviev had come to an agreement with a Russian bank regarding $614 million in loans owed the bank by Africa’s AFI Development unit. Housing & Construction Limited, weighed down by concerns over its exposure to the troubled Nigerian economy, rebounded on Sunday, rising 2.25% to end at 6.32 shekels. Rami Levy led TA-100 shares down, falling another 4.5% to 149 shekels in response to news last week that police were recommending an indictment against its namesake controlling shareholder. (Shelly Appelberg)